(director: Kim Farrant; screenwriter: based on the novel Sarah Alderson/Alderson is also the screenwriter; cinematographer: Noah Greenberg; editor: Sophie Corra; music: Daniel Wohl; cast: Leighton Meester (Beth), Christina Wolfe (Kate), Ziad Bakri (Zain), Luke Norris  (Rob), Amar Bukvic (Pavic), Iva Mihalic (Kovac), Marko Braic (Luka), Lujo Kuncevic (Mateo),Parth Thakerar (Jay), Adrian Pezdirc (Sebastian, landlord); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Charlie Morrison, Ben Pugh, Erica Steinberg: Netflix; 2022)

A slight B-film thriller.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A slight B-film thriller. It’s set in Split, Croatia (in the novel it was set in Lisbon). It’s directed without distinction by Kim Farrant “Angel of Mine”/”Strangerland”). The British-American Sarah Alderson is the writer, as she bases her screenplay on her 2020 novel (a fast-read airport type of book). The film is troubled by too many contrived twists to be convincing, but has some entertainment value.
It opens with a
woman’s body floating in the Adriatic, where the London-based American Beth (Leighton Meester) and her flaky best friend (they were college roommates) Kate (Christina Wolfe) are in Croatia on holiday for the week-end. Footing the bill for their expensive trip via a Visa card is the husband Kate just divorced. Meanwhile Beth’s marriage to Rob (Luke Norris) is rocky, as it has been a year since she had sex with him. While she vacations, Rob stays home to mind the baby. Beth loves her child. Even though married life is dreary, she worries how the divorce will affect her child and therefore puts it off.

The night before the friends went clubbing with two party men
(Marko Braic, Lujo Kuncevic) who picked them up at their hotel, which is owned by the creepy Sebastian (Adrian Pezdirc). The next morning Beth wakes up in a thrashed hotel room not remembering anything about what happened that night and there’s no Kate. When Beth alerts the police (Amar Bukvic, Iva Mihalic), the man and woman partners are unconcerned. The only helpful party is a Syrian-refugee taxi driver (Ziad Bakri), who when investigating with her find Kate’s corpse.

Things only worsen when the police consider her a suspect, and she tries to prove her innocence.

It goes off in murky subplots, but fails to make much sense, have much tension or has much action. It never made me believe the nice girl, Beth could be best friends with the wild girl Kate, or that her spouse had such dark secrets.

It’s taken from a book you might read on a plane ride, and the movie is one you might see late at night on cable when you can’t sleep.

REVIEWED ON 3/22/2022  GRADE: C+